Cameron Gray, Swiss, born 1980. Thinking Hurts Too Much, 2013. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2013.63

Thinking Hurts Too Much

December 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020

Media Arts Gallery

Thinking Hurts Too Much is a moving collage of internet-mined, pop culture footage. The glut of disparate, disconnected, and disembodied figures, some real (like former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and pop star Mariah Carey) and some imaginary (Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown and DC Comics’ Batman), perform on layered keyhole stages, serving as a reminder of our profound knowledge of images aimed at the edge of acceptability and decency. The thousands of images pieced together become a provocative and poignant portrait of American excess and the constant desire for new and more extreme visual stimulation. Featured on the cover of ARTNews in 2013, Cameron Gray was presented as an example of an artist working in “The New Collage.” Gray describes this new approach “as a reaction to the culture that’s already there” and the inherent patchwork nature of the internet. Art blogger Adam Tetzloff describes Gray’s work in this way: “Like the culture that inspired it, the work is an eye-melting overload of images and ideas, as if the Internet suddenly ruptured and spewed forth into the black light din of Spencer’s Gifts. At once whimsical and menacing, the overlapping, ever-shifting, neon barrage of sights and sound seems at first to border on satire, skewering pop culture and the tropes of contemporary art.”